Monday, March 12, 2012

Sean Hayes Run Wolves Run 2010

My wife first heard Sean Hayes' Powerful Stuff on a Subaru commercial. This seems to be the hot new preferred method of both making some good dough and acquiring an audience for your work. She wanted me to get the one song at iTunes, which I sometimes do even though the quality of their improved mp3 still sucks, but after checking out the samples, I decided to give the CD a try. 

Sean Hayes makes the most out of the simple guitar-bass-drums settings in which these songs find themselves wrapped. He has a nice, expressive voice with a folky rasp and a swell high register, and he writes some good melodies and lyrics. And the arrangements, though simple, are kept interesting with a variety of dynamic changes.

Highlights include the opener When We Fall In, a catchy folk-pop that almost sounds like Eric Hutchinson, Powerful Stuff, another snappy number with a hot vocal and excellent acoustic guitar lead, So Down, a sexy come-on of funky fun, and the funky rock of Gunnin, with its fat fuzz bass (or over-driven Wurlitzer?). One Day The River (riff rock with guest Brazilian drummers) and Soul Shaker (pop-rock with hooks) also shine, as does the slow blues of Open Up A Window, especially Hayes' electric lead guitar.

There are a few weaker songs, and there are a few times when Hayes gets overly repetitive with a lyrical idea. Sometimes this sounds like a deliberate technique, other times it sounds like he didn't write enough lyrics for a whole song. But for the most, this is very nicely done singer-songwriter folk-pop-rock that has enough good songs and performances (more than a majority for sure) to make it easy to recommend.

Andrew Borger's drums and Devin Hoff's bass offer fine underpinning for Hayes' guitar and occasional electric piano. Their efforts should not be understated. A modern day troubadour, and a fine record.

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